I am sure the title intrigued you, but no, I am not writing about anything inappropriate…..today. The shrinkage I am referring to is my own ego. A week or so ago, I was given the opportunity for another writing gig with another publication that I had not previously written for. In this industry, any assignment is welcome and I am very aware that everyone does things differently. For me, I have to go with the flow.
The assignment that I took requires a small day trip. When I inquired about the details, I was sent a lengthy email that not only supplied the basic information, but also told me what to ask, how to ask the questions, the etiquette with the photographer and to make sure the I have a recording device on my phone to interview the designer. I quickly composed a response with a lengthy biography of my experience – even though I thought she knew my background – in an effort to squash, what I believed to be, a condescending email. But, I paused. I erased the egocentric semantics and simply wrote her back with a solid “thank you”.
My ego got a little ruffled and words in an email tend to get misconstrued, so I chose to allow my experience and professionalism to speak for themselves when I meet her in person this week. The industry I am in is full of enough egos that there really isn’t room for mine. I am no expert. Sure, I have over ten years of writing for publications specifically geared toward home decor, but that doesn’t mean I know everything. That is not to say that for an hour after I received that email, I didn’t think “who does she think she is telling me how to do my job?”. I am human, after all.
I used to think I knew everything. I was an expert in all areas. But the more I live day to day, I really know less now and honestly, that is okay. It allows me to be more humble. Maybe I will learn something on this new assignment. In any event, each opportunity is a teachable moment, if I allow it.